I’m inclined to believe that the next election is more likely to be about Morrison than Albanese. If that seems odd to you, then stay with me. In the most recent US Presidential Election, Senator Biden used a low-key strategy focused not on himself but President Trump’s record, policies, actions, offensiveness, and lying.
In other words, he made Trump the issue, just as Howard did with Latham, and Morrison with Shorten. It was not about himself. This strategy proved to be most effective, and Biden went on to win by 6 million votes. And Howard then Morrison.
Ostensibly what Albo has to do is be himself and point out until boredom sets in the many varied and costly mistakes the Coalition has made. None more so than the Robodebt fiasco which cost the taxpayer an estimated 2 billion dollars. Thus far, nobody is responsible for probably the most extraordinary act of culpability the nation has ever seen, and it was the Prime Minister’s idea and responsibility. Nothing short of a Royal Commission is required to flush out those responsible for this crime against the citizens of Australia.
By playing low key, Albo, in my opinion, will place the focus entirely on Morrison, his policies, his record and his character. Not a bad strategy when you bundle up almost three terms of plain awful governance. When you look back over the Coalition’s three terms in office, you cannot be but shocked at the extent of their incompetency.
The sheer length of their horrifying governance and the volume of their inhumaneness is what Albo must attack. It would stretch the length of any campaign trail and give forth a constant stream of scandal, corruption, and bad management.
For me, it’s got to be, “Has your life improved under the Coalition government?” Or “Look at the performance of this government, it has been atrocious – scandal after scandal, numerous bad policies and the absence of any humanity where citizens can feel their government has their back and won’t abandon them.”
My premises are not based on wishful thinking but on the belief that there is always a point when all the wrong you created eventually catches up. And there is ample evidence of that now.
It seems to me that for some time now, the electorate has been giving Morrison more than just a cursory going over. Instead, they have become more analytical of the man and his policies.
An election might have been pencilled in for the last quarter of 2021, but a string of atrocious scandals, decisions, and massive mishandling of COVID-19 vaccinations may have forced them to pull out until the first quarter of 2022.
Indeed, the Coalition will start favourite mainly because – ironically – of their handling the pandemic. Early on, there is no doubt that the government will inherit the favour of the people (even though the states bore the heavy burden), however, all that will be negated by its woeful handling of the vaccine distribution. There is great angst in the community against its inability to carry out the promises it proposed.
Another societal or phycological mismanagement that could cost them dearly is the refusal of the Prime Minister to release the Tamil family detained for two years on Christmas Island.
We have gone past the used by date of “stop the boats” and “on-water matters” of the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison era. Past the scaremongering of “Muslims are coming to get you,” and “marriage inequality.” And beyond, second-rate politicians like Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack warn against federal Liberal MPs’ calls for the Biloela Tamil family detained on Christmas Island to return home to Queensland.
The treatment of this family and others is so unrepresentative of our instincts as global citizens that it makes my blood boil. It infuriates my understanding of why we vote to retain such a Prime Minister. Perhaps he should consult his wife Jen as he did about rape to determine the damage incarceration can do to children roughly the same age as his own.
This story has echoed worldwide and reminded us of how cruelly Australia practises its deterrence – the more stubborn, the better. My view is that the world is sick to death of the far-right phonies who pretend to know what is best for us when it is really them that know who governments can do best for.
David Littleproud (Deputy leader of the National Party) said on morning ABC News (14 June) that a solution for the Biloela family would be found because, ultimately, we are a fair people. I wouldn’t dispute that it’s just that we have a dreadfully unfair government.
As I write, our media suggests that the government is on the verge of announcing a solution. However, even if they do, a residue of the stench of the government’s inaction will follow them into the election.
The people have had enough of this gratuitous governance for almost a decade now, and may I suggest people want more truth, more transparency, more honesty, more of all the things in the ingredients in the recipe of good governance? But, in reality, all the things this government is not.
There is nothing new about scandals; they have been part of the political landscape for as long as I can remember. But unfortunately, so frequently do they occur that if you blink, you might miss them.
Here is one, now almost all but forgotten:
In December 2019, contrary to the rules on the use of commonwealth aircraft, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer billed taxpayers almost $5,000 to take the prime minister’s private jet from Canberra to Sydney for Lachlan Murdoch’s 2018 Christmas party. There was little public outcry, no remorse, no embarrassment, and it scarcely registered as a scandal? It’s that easy to get away with.
In February of this year, Nick Feik in The Monthly wrote of this scandal-ridden government that:
“Scandals are nothing new in Australian politics, but the way they have piled up in the recent years of Coalition government points to a critical shift in our governance. Acts of malfeasance and impropriety have become more than isolated episodes, more than egregious slips or embarrassing failures. Unexplained and unresolved, they are open wounds on the body politic, overlapping and now chronic.”
Of course, the next election and the accompanying campaign policies will carry the burden of climate change. But, whilst an agreement by the G7 last weekend commits members to phase out government support for fossil fuels, our Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was singing the praises of coal, reinforcing yet again his government’s commitment to the industry.
That the Coalition remains in dispute of the science is a given. That they intend to do little to improve the planet’s health must be a feature of Labor’s campaign. But just as public opinion is now firmly behind a world without fossil fuels, it would be a significant mistake not to take an unshakeable commitment to renewables to the election.
There is a mountain of material to attack the Coalition on appalling governance alone. But, further, I believe that the electorate has realised that corrupt liars and fools govern us.
The Australian people are waking up to the fact that government affects every part of their lives, and should be more interested. As a result, the political malaise that has been so deep-seated is beginning to disintegrate, and the government is being judged with reinvigorated minds.
“Hey, these guys are corrupt,” you will hear them say.
My thought for the day.
“I feel people on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination. They have a hate on their lips, and their hate starts with the beginning of a smile.”
PS: In its wisdom (or cruelty), the government granted the Tamil family community detention, which in reality is no decision at all, just an extension of its problem (or misery). This should be of no surprise given their attitude to such matters.
I believe that l have not fully covered my argument in this piece, so l will continue on this theme in my next post. Your comments might be of some assistance.
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